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Shop built CNC Router


Active User
Active Member
I just recently finished building a CNC Router. The machine was pretty much designed around stock I had at hand. I bought the drives, ball screws, and slides from vendors on eBay. But all the machined components were done in my shop. The table is 31.5x57" and the machine has travel of 48.5 x 27 x 5". The entire gantry can be set forward on the guides to allow it to overhang the end of the machine by as much as 3". This allows me to fasten a workpiece to the end apron and machine the edge for things like dovetail joints.
The machine took about 2 months to build. I am a retired design engineer. I have a fairly complete shop I used to build prototypes back when I had clients.

I posted a boring video on You Tube if you would like to see it working. (Video is not my forte)

RC Finished Front.jpg RC Finished Back.jpg


Active User
Active Member
Very NICE!!

I have been toying with the idea of building my own CNC. I built a CNC Plasma Cutter in grad school for a project, and have wanted my own ever since. Though i should probably get my lathe running first...

If you don't mind me asking, approximately how much did it set you back in all?

Very nice design btw! I like the table overhanging the guides for the X-Axis, keeping those clean. Is the X-Axis driven by a single screw? In the center of the table?



Active User
Active Member
Very good looking build! I love the use of a tool box drawer for the keyboard, but what do you do about the mouse? I am still using a router, so your spindle looks really good - how much power did you get there?

Anyway, that's something to be proud of!


Active User
Active Member
The keyboard is a wireless job with a touchpad, so I don't need a mouse. But the keyboard is only used when I need to type in a number or letters. The screen is a touchscreen. I got it used off of eBay. Also, I just got a pendant from VistaCNC. So between the pendant and touchscreen, the keyboard stays in the drawer.

In case anybody else has this problem:
The machine would start to stall and miss steps at 100ipm (500RPM on the motors). My older, smaller machine had no problem operating up to 200ipm. After trying all kinds of theories and fixes, I finally found that Mach3 did not like the computer, a 3GHz Pentium 4, running in hyper-thread mode. I turned off hyper-threading in the BIOS, and now the machine runs at 200ipm and slightly above. It is much smoother and quieter as well. I am much relieved.


Active Member
Active Member
Damn, I really like the idea of an open spot on the edge so you can stand something up to work on the edge....

Oh well, too late to put that in my current machine.

....maybe the next one....!



Registered Member
Hi Geotek!

This is my first post and I have to say Nice Job! I like the toolbox for the keyboard as well as the shop cabinet for the electronics. I've been rebuilding/modifying an old Liberty router and built a wood cart to support the router and house the electronics underneath. I had been thinking of using a cabinet similar to what you did, but my electronics are already in cases..I'm not really looking to remove them and mount the circuit boards in a larger case. One of the issues I'm stuck on is supporting the 2 lcd monitors I want to use. I really like what you did. How did you make the joints? I've looked at commercially available arms and they can be quite pricey.



Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
Excellent build ! Looks like a completely professional top quality build. Having designed & built special machinery for 10yrs I take my hat off to you.